Poem Hunter
The Dead Speak
HC (29 January 1947 / New York, NY)

The Dead Speak

Poem By Hugh Cobb

The dead speak
in soft whispers:
a sigh of breeze
a rustle of leaves
a sound of water
rushing over distant rocks...

often they come in dreams
night dreams or day dreams
voiced in hushed murmurs:

a rattle of hail echoes
dead bones dancing

the dead dance all around the living
in molecules & atoms of the very air we breathe.

they wait patiently behind a love seat
for someone to not look through them;
rather to welcome them into conversation
or offer them a cup of tea...

the dead do not rest in graves
are not bound in confining earth
are not their bodies' decay.

what would they tell us
if we could hear them,
beyond commonplace noise,
discerning sense beneath?

Holding breath in abeyance
one might comprehend
a subtle phrase carried in a scent
of roses or gardenias

candle flame casts syllables
into flickers of light & shade

shades of the dead
cast no shadows
but use them like camouflage
when they are shy...

they are not afraid to die

having already passed through that veil.
they want to tell you
it's easier than you think,
that line is so delicate
you never see it until

you've crossed over
merg'd into their space

meeting whatever you believe you will
creating your experience
there as you do here & now...

'til then, the dead remain
until they choose to leave.
when they no longer need
to speak your name
they simply turn & disappear
into silent & abiding light.

(Copyright 1/6/2005)

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